In such poems as "Gunga Din," "Mandalay," "Tommy," "Danny Deever," "If —," "The White Man's Burden," and "The Female of the Species," Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) evoked stirring images and created archetypes of British character at the height of the Empire. Filled with character study, dramatic incident, and rousing language, the poems delineate the time, place, and ethos of British ascendancy as surely as a novel or history of the period, yet they possess a timelessness and universality that lifts them above the purely temporal.
Readers will find in this choice selection of 44 poems, reprinted from authoritative editions, not only a glimpse of the Empire, but the works of a vigorous and original poet who brought the language apt and colorful turns of phrase we still cherish.
by Rudyard Kipling
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